The Zuid-Afrika Specialist arose from the desire of holidaymakers to get to know and discover the country we have fallen in love with ourselves. Below we would like to explain to you the added value of the South Africa Specialist for your trip to Southern Africa.
Office in South Africa and Netherlands
This means that we always have short lines with our suppliers. Because we mostly work from South Africa, our costs are also lower. By working with internet telephones, among other things, we are easily accessible at local costs even if you speak to one of our employees in South Africa. In addition, we contribute to improving the standard of living of many South Africans by working locally. So your money stays in South Africa, which stimulates employment and the economy. This is not the case with many online booking sites since the staff and company are then located in a different country.
We don’t just say this: we invest in the training and education of our staff and ensure that they have extensive knowledge of Southern Africa. In addition, we regularly send our consultants on a study trip. Suppliers visit us at our office in South Africa or in the Netherlands for training, explanation and information about their products. We also regularly visit accommodations and suppliers. We test routes along the various accommodations in order to make the best choices for every traveler. We have direct and personal contact with all our suppliers (accommodations, car rental companies, group travel providers, camper rental companies etc).
Because we do not publish expensive travel guides, nor have office buildings in expensive shopping streets, we are both more environmentally friendly and cheaper than traditional travel companies.
Participant of the SGR
Because we are also based in the Netherlands, we can guarantee our customers financial security by being a member of the SGR. This means that your travel money will be spent on your journey at all times. A criterion for being a member of the SGR as a tour operator is to provide a bank guarantee. This means that even in the unlikely event that the Zuid-Afrika Specialist should go bankrupt, all your travel money is safe and will be spent on the relevant suppliers so that your journey can continue unimpeded. Our SGR number is 3213.
No extra costs
We do not charge reservation costs, booking costs or administration costs *. We try at all times – where possible – to include all “hidden” costs for you in the prices or will explicitly name them as not included, if this is not possible (for example, consider the so-called conservation fees, which must be paid locally) to become). We also try to be transparent in our quotes at all times, so that you are not faced with unpleasant surprises afterwards. Because we work with very low margins – and even offer flights net without earning anything – we charge € 25 for the search and reservation of flights. If you book your flights yourself via our search & book machine, these costs do not apply.
Because we work without the intervention of travel agents, marketing companies or other third parties, we keep the lines short and the prices as low as possible.
Payment in Rand or Euro possible
We have both a Dutch bank account and a South African one. So you can choose whether you want to book your trip at a fixed rate in Euros or whether you prefer to pay in Randen. Many online booking sites show you prices in Euros, but actually work with the local currency. As soon as the exchange rate changes, the price of your booked trip also changes. Payment in Randen may be cheaper for you, but entails exchange rate risk and bank charges. Payment in Euro gives you the benefit of a fixed price and payment to a Dutch account without bank charges. We leave the choice to you. Read more here.
We arrange your trip from A tot Z
Accommodation, transportation, excursions, activities, flights and whatever you want. You can contact us for all your travel plans. At the same time you have complete freedom with us: book your flights yourself? no problem. We can adjust one package travel to your wishes.
The lowest possible prices
Because we keep our costs as low as possible – as already described above – we can offer you the best prices for your trip. Because we work with a select number of suppliers, we have negotiated the best purchasing prices for you. In this way, booking your trip (component) is often cheaper than booking directly with the supplier. We let you benefit from our good purchasing prices. Do you think you have found the same service / product at a better price somewhere else? Feel free to let us know: in 9 out of 10 cases it appears that there are snags under the grass that you do not have to worry about with us.
South Africa Specialist for “arrange / book yourself”
We regularly hear from people that they want to arrange accommodations, cars, campers or other travel components themselves because they think this is cheaper. However, in practice it appears that this is certainly not the case. There are a number of situations that we would like to explain:
Booking a car through a well-known car booking site
It is true that “booking yourself” your car at one of the well-known online booking sites often looks cheaper than our offer. However, the comparison is not correct. First of all, it is important to report that booking your car at such a booking site is still done through a so-called broker.
Perhaps even more important: it is questionable whether this insurance really covers everything. For example, there are often exceptions or excluded matters. Many of these types of insurance only cover damage to your own vehicle. They do not cover damage to third parties because this is covered by local insurance. However, that is not entirely true. in South Africa there is no liability insurance as we know it in the Netherlands. Also for damage to third parties the deductible is first calculated, and the rest is covered.
For clarification an example:
Imagine you are driving on a road and cause an accident. You just avoid the other car involved and hit a tree. You have no damage to your vehicle, but the other vehicle is total loss and it was your responsibility. The supplier will debit the deductible from your account, and the rest is covered as third party damage. So the question is whether you are covered now because you have no damage to your vehicle. If you book the car with us, it is insured locally with the car supplier. You therefore have no costs in this case as you have no deductible.
These brokers often also work with the local currency (see ‘payment in Borders’ above for an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of this). The many other benefits of booking with the South Africa Specialist such as your financial security (SGR participant) have already been described above and apply to your car rental.
Booking your overnight stay through a well-known booking site
Here too it applies that you actually do not “book” your accommodation yourself. After all, this goes through this booking site that is an intermediary, just like the South Africa Specialist. In addition, these types of sites are known for the many “selling tricks” they use. They only show the best reviews, pretend there is scarcity by showing that there is only 1 room available and many other well-known tricks. It is true that these organizations sometimes have prizes that we cannot compete with. This is particularly the case if it concerns an overnight stay at a supplier with whom we do not work together for certain reasons. The offer we make to you has always been personally checked by us and is our preference. With these accommodations we offer competitive prices that are certainly competitive with these types of booking sites. In addition, you know for sure that you will arrive at a good address. Because we work directly and personally with our suppliers, there is also a good relationship. This prevents you from ending up in the worst room of an accommodation or that a mistake has been made by the computer, making your room unavailable. Also, meals or excursions through booking sites are often not included in the prices offered and there are local costs that are hidden and you still have to pay afterwards. Here too, this type of booking site often works with the local currency (see ‘payment in Borders’ above for an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of this). The many other benefits of booking with the South Africa Specialist such as your financial security (participant SGR) have already been described above and apply to your accommodation booking through the South Africa Specialist.
Arrange it yourself directly with the supplier